2003-12-03 / From The Mayor...

From The Mayor’s Desk...

Helping Make New York A Better Home For Holidays
From The Mayor’s Desk...

From The Mayor’s Desk...

Helping Make New York A Better Home For Holidays

In his great holiday season story, A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens described this as a time of year, "When abundance rejoices - and when want is felt most keenly." As if to remind us all of that, this year, the holidays-along with our first real taste of winter weather-have arrived at the same time.

As we celebrate with friends and family, we should all remember that a big part of the holiday spirit is looking out for our less fortunate neighbors during what can be a harsh season. And this morning, I want to point out two very important ways we can do that. They’re the "Reader’s Care Food Drive" and the "New York Cares Coat Drive"-two great annual campaigns that give us all the chance to show that we understand that it really is better to give than to receive.

City Harvest, a non-profit organization, does a tremendous job of providing food to New York’s soup kitchens, emergency food pantries and other facilities that serve New Yorkers in need. I’m proud to say that its work is supported all year long by the Mayor’s Voluntary Action Center. And for the last 20 years, New Yorkers have helped City Harvest during the holiday season by donating non-perishable foods during the "Readers Care Food Drive," which is supported by the Daily News and the Modell’s sporting goods stores. This year’s campaign runs through January 9th. As in year’s past, New York’s Bravest and Finest are all taking part; call 3-1-1 to find the police or fire station nearest you where you can make food donations to this worthy campaign.

Monday marked the beginning of the 15th annual "New York Cares Coat Drive." I’ll be going to the Bowery Mission on the Lower East Side to help kick it off. Since 1989, the non-profit group New York Cares has provided more than half a million coats to New Yorkers who lack adequate winter wear. This year, its goal is to collect and distribute 70,000 coats by New York’s Eve. I’m asking all New Yorkers to go into your closets and pull out those jackets and coats that are still in good shape, but that you and your family members just don’t wear anymore. Throughout the month of December, you’ll be able to drop them off at sites through-out the city, including any NYPD facility in the five boroughs. Again, call 3-1-1 to find out the location of the most convenient precinct station.

Supporting the "Reader’s Care Food Drive" and the "New York Cares Coat Drive" are great ways to get into the holiday spirit. They’re campaigns that are as much as part of this happy season in the Big Apple as last Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or this Wednesday’s lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center. They give us a chance to make a vital difference in the lives of our neighbors in need, and to show the generous and compassionate heart of New York.

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